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Ace Andy catches Clive's eye

Posted on 21 January 2005  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

Clive Allen appreciates more than most the kind of season Andy Johnson is enjoying at Crystal Palace.


Iain Dowie's lethal weapon has scored 13 goals already as Palace scrap for survival in the Barclays Premiership.


One of those 13 was in our 1-1 draw at the Lane on December 28 and we now face him again at Selhurst Park on Saturday.

Johnson has played as a lone striker behind a five-man midfield all season - a mirror image of the system put in place by David Pleat in Clive's memorable 1986-87 campaign.


Development coach Clive hit an amazing 49 goals as we finished third in the old First Division, runners-up in the FA Cup and reached the semi-finals of the League Cup.


Of course, Clive had the likes of Ossie Ardiles, Chris Waddle and Glenn Hoddle to rely on for chances and he suggests that is one reason why Johnson's feats so far this term are so impressive.


"I was very fortunate to have an unbelievable supply line not just from one area but many," reflected Clive. "My job was to put the ball in the back of the net and it was a fantastic season for me.


"What you've seen with Andy Johnson is that he's made goals for himself as well as finishing off moves.


"His goal returns from the opportunities created is very good and he's one of the top strikers in the country at the moment.


"It's not an easy role. At times you have to be selfish, focused, single-minded and he is all that. There are times, especially away from home, when the supply is limited and you have to be disciplined, not get frustrated and wait for the opportunities to arrive. That's exactly what he's done.


"He's led the line on his own but he's very powerful, dynamic and in a way Palace have relied on his goals almost solely, so it's a massive responsibility he carries.


"He is without doubt their major threat and we know how important it is to keep him quiet on the day."